1 The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan, the palace,
2 that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem [is] broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept and mourned [certain] days and fasted and prayed before the God of the heavens
5 and said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of the heavens, strong, great and terrible, who keeps covenant and mercy for those that love thee and observe thy commandments;
6 let thine ear now be attentive and thine eyes open, that thou may hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the sons of Israel, thy servants, and I confess the sins of the sons of Israel, with which we have sinned against thee; both I and my father's house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee and have not kept the commandments nor the statutes nor the judgments, which thou didst command thy servant Moses.
8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou didst command thy servant Moses, saying, [If] ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples;
9 but [if] ye turn unto me and keep my commandments and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heavens, [yet] will I gather them from there and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to cause my name to dwell there.
10 Now these [are] thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast ransomed with thy great power and with thy strong hand.
11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant and to the prayer of thy servants who desire to fear thy name; and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him grace before this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.: